Builder – Personal Tragedy to Profitable Stability

A young Carpenter with a beautiful family is struck by absolute tragedy and left to raise his young family alone and save his failing business

Client: Peter


When I recall working with this client I often feel a unique blend of sadness and satisfaction. I was referred Peter (not his real name) two weeks after the passing of his young wife.

He was a 27-year-old builder who had recently started a family with his wife of two years. They had an 18-month-old daughter and a 24-month-old construction company that relied heavily on Peter and his apprentice for the delivery of all works. Whilst the business was generating a profit, it was a long, long way from being a sustainable vehicle for financial growth.

Peter's wife passed away suddenly in a car accident, which left him obviously devastated, alone and lost. I was referred to him by a past client in hopes of not only helping him to build a business but helping him manage the rebuilding of his life.

Initial Presentation

When I first spoke with Peter, he was scattered and lost. He was unable to grieve and he was drowning in the responsibilities before him and struggling to find the time to care for exactly what he needed to most: his family.

He had just buried his wife.
He was now trying to raise his daughter alone.
He had two solitary jobs drawing to a close in about eight weeks that he needed to retain profit in.
He had not even begun to grieve the passing of his wife yet.

Initial Analysis

In Summary: Peter's case was a relatively simple solution from the business perspective. However, it was drastically complicated by his personal needs, a confronting case as a coach but also one with massive meaning and purpose.

On initial analysis there were two parts to supporting Peter. The first was to solidify the growth and sustainability of his business in such a way that it not only provided for him financially but provided him with an escape and some routine to his life. The second part of working with Peter was, in its simplest terms, supporting him to grieve and continue to grow his young family in a healthy way.

On completing the diagnosis, we determined the following areas of focus and formulated a strategy to resolve his position. It was heavily orientated towards the development of Peter's systems and structures but also heavily orientated to him as an executive.

  • Revenue: $430,000
  • Profit: $39,000
  • Hours invested in business per week: 65+

Prescribed Intervention

Phase 1 - Days 0 to 60 - Foundations of business delivery

We immediately saw that the success of Peter's business hinged on his capacity to secure additional works for his business and ensure the delivery of his work was done in a profitable manner. He was over-involved in the delivery of his work as a whole, which was hindering his ability to secure new jobs. The immediate solution to this was install reporting processes and systems to maximise time off the tools. We installed daily reporting and weekly planning pathways, immediately freeing Peter of the day-to-day requirement and giving an additional three days in his week to acquire new works.

Phase 2 - Days 30 to 120 - Lead generation and sales systemisation

A heavy focus on the referral and acquisition of high-grade, high-profit work was a priority early and we contributed eight hours per week to this and saw an immediate ROI of one high six-figure and one low seven-figure. These were booked into the schedule with ample time for scale of teams. We ensured maximum profitability in the works by installing a sales process and onboarding system for the buyer to maximise the represented value. People buy homes, not houses.

Phase 3 - Days 90 to 360 - Leadership development

The creation and expansion of Peter's business was only ever going to be successful with the leadership and executive development of Peter at the core of it. If we did not address his management and operations, it would become a burden for him, not an asset. It was within this phase we also worked intensively on his identity as a man, business owner and father. I supported him through the grieving process and through this we saw him process what needed to be processed, learn to love his life again and start to be fully present for his daughter.

Phase 4 - Days 180 to 360 - Family man

The whole purpose of our engagement together was to support Peter to become a better father and not only be there financially for his daughter but also emotionally. He was not ready to look at new partners and so on but as a stereotypically masculine man this was a big part of our coaching becoming successful. We refined his business such that every morning and afternoon he was able to drop off and pick up his daughter and hired the right staff around him so his role essentially became job acquisition and oversight with zero delivery. This was the final component of success in our relationship and was the true measure of success for Peter. He went on to secure two more jobs during our contract and retained excellent profit as forecast from the initial two.


In summary, Peter and I were able to work together to support not only the development of his business but the prevention of a painful situation exacerbating. We took Peter's business from a minimal annual profit and unreliable lead generation to a machine that he was able to steer, accelerate and bring to a desired destination.

All of this gave Peter what he truly needed in the year following his wife’s passing, which was the foundation to be a father to his daughter and honour and love the memory of his wife. We continue to work today, 36 months after the initial contract commenced, to further develop his business and ensure best practice is maintained at all times.

  • Revenue: $1.9m
  • Profit: $380,000
  • Hours invested in business per week: 30+

Key Metrics

  • Total Investment in Keystone: $36,000 (Paid only after achieving success indicators)
  • Percentage ROI on Profit: 1055%

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?